NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — The countdown to the 56th Annual CMA Awards is on.
Country music fans from across the country gathered outside Bridgestone Arena early Wednesday morning to catch 13-time CMA Award Winner Keith Urban perform live on Good Morning America. Dedicated fans waited over 12 hours in line to sing along to Urban’s latest single, “Street Called Main.”
Here’s what you need to know before tonight’s show.
CMA Awards: Hosts
Country music superstar Luke Bryan and NFL legend Peyton Manning will host the 56th Annual CMA Awards. This will be Bryan’s second consecutive year hosting the award show, but it will be the former Denver Broncos quarterback’s first appearance as host of Country Music’s Biggest Night.
“It’s always a huge honor to be a part of this show,” said Bryan. “He and I are certainly comfortable in the role and it should be a lot of fun.”
CMA Awards: Nominees
CMA Entertainer of the Year nominees: Luke Combs, Miranda Lambert, Chris Stapleton, Carrie Underwood, and Morgan Wallen
Female Vocalist of the Year nominees: Miranda Lambert, Ashley McBryde, Carly Pearce, Carrie Underwood, and Lainey Wilson
Male Vocalist of the Year nominees: Eric Church, Luke Combs, Cody Johnson, Chris Stapleton, and Morgan Wallen
Album of the Year nominees: Growin’ Up – Luke Combs, Humble Quest – Maren Morris, Palomino – Miranda Lambert, Sayin’ What I’m Thinkin’ – Lainey Wilson and Time, Tequila & Therapy – Old Dominion
New Artist of the Year nominees: HARDY, Walker Hayes, Cody Johnson, Parker McCollum, and Lainey Wilson
Vocal Group of the Year nominees: Lady A, Little Big Town, Midland, Old Dominion, and Zac Brown Band.
Vocal Duo of the Year nominees: Brooks & Dunn, Brothers Osborne, Dan + Shay, LOCASH, and Maddie & Tae
Musician of the Year nominees: Jenee Fleenor (Fiddle), Paul Franklin (Steel guitar), Brent Mason (Guitar), Ilya Toshinskiy (Banjo), and Derek Wells (Guitar)
Single of the Year nominees:
- “Buy Dirt” – Jordan Davis featuring Luke Bryan
Producer: Paul DiGiovanni
Mix Engineer: Jim Cooley
- “half of my hometown” – Kelsea Ballerini (feat. Kenny Chesney)
Producers: Kelsea Ballerini, Ross Copperman, Jimmy Robbins
Mix Engineer: Dan Grech-Marguerat
- “Never Wanted To Be That Girl” – Carly Pearce and Ashley McBryde
Producers: Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne
Mix Engineer: Ryan Gore
- “’Til You Can’t” – Cody Johnson
Producer: Trent Willmon
Mix Engineer: Jack Clarke
- “You Should Probably Leave” – Chris Stapleton
Producers: Dave Cobb, Chris Stapleton
Mix Engineer: Vance Powell
Song of the Year nominees:
- “Buy Dirt”
Songwriters: Jacob Davis, Jordan Davis, Josh Jenkins, Matt Jenkins
- “Never Wanted To Be That Girl”
Songwriters: Shane McAnally, Ashley McBryde, Carly Pearce
- “Sand In My Boots”
Songwriters: Ashley Gorley, Michael Hardy, Josh Osborne
- “Things A Man Oughta Know”
Songwriters: Jason Nix, Jonathan Singleton, Lainey Wilson
- “You Should Probably Leave”
Songwriters: Chris DuBois, Ashley Gorley, Chris Stapleton
Two awards have already been announced ahead of the event.
Musical Event of the Year WINNER: “Never Wanted To Be That Girl” – Carly Pearce and Ashley McBryde (Producers: Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne)
Musical Video of the Year WINNER: “’Til You Can’t” – Cody Johnson (Director: Dustin Haney)
CMA Awards: Performances
The show will kick off with an Opening Tribute to Loretta Lynn featuring Miranda Lambert, Reba McEntire, and Carrie Underwood, honoring the country music legend who passed away at her Tennessee ranch last month.
Alan Jackson—this year’s recipient of the Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award—will be honored with a performance by Dierks Bentley, Jon Pardi, Carrie Underwood, and Lainey Wilson.
Eight special collaborations have been announced for the show:
- “YOU’RE DRUNK, GO HOME” – Kelsea Ballerini featuring Kelly Clarkson and Carly Pearce
- “It’s Only Rock & Roll (But I Like It)” – Brothers Osborne with The War And Treaty
- “wait in the truck” – HARDY featuring Lainey Wilson
- “Great Balls of Fire” – Elle King with The Black Keys
- “When Will I Be Loved” – Ashley McBryde joined by Brandy Clark, Caylee Hammack, Pillbox Patti, and John Osborne
- “Where We Started” – Thomas Rhett and Katy Perry
- “You’ll Never Leave Harlan Alive” – Chris Stapleton with Patty Loveless
- “Out In The Middle” – Zac Brown Band featuring Jimmie Allen and Marcus King
Plus, you’ll hear performances from:
- Luke Bryan
- Luke Combs
- Cody Johnson
- Miranda Lambert
- Carly Pearce
- Cole Swindell
- Carrie Underwood (clearly a busy night for her!)
- Morgan Wallen
Host Luke Bryan will perform his single “Country On.” Bryan said he hopes the song sends a patriotic message to audience members. “Just being able to stand on the stage at the CMAs and pay homage to the hardworking men and women all across this country, and the hardworking people that makes this country what it is, and this song kind of, hopefully, uplifts those people.”
CMA Awards: Presenters
The following have been announced as presenters for the 56th Annual CMA Awards: Mookie Betts, BRELAND, Jessica Chastain, Jordan Davis, Sarah Drew, Cole Hauser, Tyler Hubbard, Wynonna Judd, Lady A, Rex Linn, Little Big Town, Parker McCollum, Reba McEntire, Ben and Erin Napier, Lionel Richie, Jeannie Seely, Michael Shannon, and Lainey Wilson.
Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee is once again home to Country Music’s Biggest Night. If you can’t be in Music City for the show you can catch it on ABC tonight at 8p/7p CST.